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Old 01-05-2009, 03:09 AM   #11
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Well, I'm not afraid of the chemicals but if its possible to not use them, I think that is preferred. If I can get the yeast to go dormant by crash cooling and then rack to a keg, won't they stay dormant? I'm new to the idea of stopping fermentation. If I was to stop fermentaion with chemicals, is it necessary for fermentation to be finished. My ONLY goal here is to create an "apfelwein" like drink that is not as dry. Therefore preserving some of the grape taste. I don't like wine. I love grape juice. Happy medium would be nice. I'm thinking 1.006-1.008?



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Old 01-05-2009, 03:11 AM   #12
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My main concern is to not let it ferment down too far. Being really dry is why I don't really like apfelwein to begin with. I would like to be able to not have to add things to kill the yeast. I read the thread about apfelwein experiments and the OP said he could stop fermentaion of US-04 by racking and cold crashing. I was wondering if anyone other than him had ever tried this. I know that concord wines are no good, I've had them. But, this isn't wine. No added acids, enzymes, oak aging and everything else the winemakers use.
I wanted the same result as you describe; a not so dry, sweeter version of apfelwein. What I came up with was:

4 gallons of apple juice
1 gallon of water with 2.5# of Light DME
1 Packet Nottingham yeast

At 1.012 I crash cooled this to stop fermentation since it had the "appleyness" I wanted. It's a pretty good hard cider, but I think I'll let the next one drop a bit lower in gravity...maybe to 1.005-008. As it was the cider is just a bit too sweet. It's great for a pint or two, but after that it just gets to tasting like an apple Jolly Rancher !


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Old 01-05-2009, 03:13 AM   #13
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Well, I'm not afraid of the chemicals but if its possible to not use them, I think that is preferred. If I can get the yeast to go dormant by crash cooling and then rack to a keg, won't they stay dormant? I'm new to the idea of stopping fermentation. If I was to stop fermentaion with chemicals, is it necessary for fermentation to be finished. My ONLY goal here is to create an "apfelwein" like drink that is not as dry. Therefore preserving some of the grape taste. I don't like wine. I love grape juice. Happy medium would be nice. I'm thinking 1.006-1.008?
It would work, as long as you kept the keg chilled. If you took it out, it would probably start fermenting again. That would be ok, unless you bottled some and left it at room temperature.

It's almost impossible to stop an active fermentation, and keep it stopped, without chemicals in a room temperature environment. Chilled, you might be just fine.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:45 AM   #14
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So as long as I crash cool it where I want it and then keep it cooled, it should drop the yeast out? Sounds like about 1.007 should be about right. I started at 1.070 so hopefully I'll have a semi-sweet 8.2% "grape cider?" I have no idea what to call this. TwoHeads, why did you DME? I used dextrose. Were you looking to get a little malt flavor from it?

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Old 01-05-2009, 03:58 AM   #15
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Is it possible to stop an active fermentation WITH the chemicals?

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Old 01-07-2009, 06:04 PM   #16
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Is it possible to stop an active fermentation WITH the chemicals?
Adding sorbate doesn't stop the fermentation but rather stops the yeast from multiplying/budding/whatever. Any viable yeast will still ferment. Other than fermenting to dry and stabilizing, then back sweetening, I'm not sure how you would go about stopping fermentation.

Maybe pasteurization is your answer. That will kill any viable yeast, then you add sulfites and sorbate to stabilize.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:40 PM   #17
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This is similar to a apfelwein variation that I have tried. Except I use a larger ratio of apple juice to grape juice:

1/2 gal dark grape juice.
2 cans dark grape juice concentrate
2 lbs dextrose
~4 gallons apple juice (or whatever it takes to fill the 5 gal carboy)
montrachet yeast

The grape juice is just enough to give the finished product a pink color and enough grape flavor to make you think you're drinking a dry white wine of some sort.

I carbonated it and it tasted a lot like a dry sparkling wine. I imagine a sweetened form would taste good too.

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Old 01-07-2009, 06:55 PM   #18
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Yeast are active within their rated temperature range. Therefore crash cooling below that temperature range makes them go dormant. As long as you maintain the beverage below that temperature range, the yeast will stay dormant and will not eat any more sugar. However, if at any point, you raise the temperature back within range, it is likely the yeast will "wake up" and start eating again.

Likewise, using chemicals can slow the fermentation in different ways, but many times yeast will find a way to continue living albeit much more slowly.

I would suggest fermenting to desired gravity, pasteurizing, and stabilizing as suggested by mmb.

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Old 01-07-2009, 07:20 PM   #19
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So as long as I crash cool it where I want it and then keep it cooled, it should drop the yeast out? Sounds like about 1.007 should be about right. I started at 1.070 so hopefully I'll have a semi-sweet 8.2% "grape cider?" I have no idea what to call this. TwoHeads, why did you DME? I used dextrose. Were you looking to get a little malt flavor from it?
Crash cooling and keeping the wine cold will keep it stable.

What you'll have is a light semi-sweet wine. This will still taste like concord wine.

A more stable way of doing this is to allow it to ferment dry then stabilize with sorbat and sulfite, then back sweeten with sugar or juice. This will produce a result that can be bottled and will remain stable. You also have better control over the FG as you will be adding back the sugar. It might be tricky to get the wine stopped at the right point with crashing as the fermentation can go pretty quick.

Craig
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:24 PM   #20
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I would suggest fermenting to desired gravity, pasteurizing, and stabilizing as suggested by mmb.
You do not need to pasteurize the wine if you let it complete the ferment. If you stabilize with sorbate and sulfite then you can back-sweeten without renewed fermentation.

If you really insist on stopping the ferment before dry then you may be able to crash cool to halt the ferment, then stabilize to prevent it from restarting in warmer temps.

I think you are making this too difficult. It only takes a couple minutes to add the chemicals to stabilize the wine. It doesn't affect the flavor and will help the long term color and flavor stability. Once this is done you can easily sweeten the wine to taste. Give it a couple more weeks and then bottle.

Craig


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